Most of the time, when things do not go the way we want them to go, we consider there to be something wrong. When we consider there is something wrong, what we immediately want is: to fix it! We want to find our solution, the one that will get us out of trouble. Often what we actually want is to restore the situation to the way it was before the problem, the incident, the disruption… occurred.
Why? Firstly, this is human nature; what we have already experienced is comforting and easier. We have had an experience of the situation at stake and we want to keep that experience alive, or we know something for sure, and we like knowing and being right.
The reality is that when we react to the situation we don’t like, with the past shaping it; the past is impacting the situation we are facing today. Experience comes from the past, what we know is what we have learned and is grounded in the past. The emotions that may affect the situation we want to fix, also come from the past. However, as far as we know, the only place we live in is the present and, when we make plans, the future. Therefore, the question is: Is “fixing” the right, the most efficient, or most productive, way of dealing with an issue?
Fixing looks like some glue that will stick things back together. The definition of “to fix” is: to repair, restore. Well, we all know having your old shoes repaired is comfortable and sometimes emotionally satisfying, but don’t you prefer to have new shoes?
And what about the possibilities of having different new shoes that will match various occasions? And what about the possibility of having shoes that you could not have imagined trying on before? (I am a big fan of shoes but feel free to adapt to your own analogy!)
When I start looking and move past the “emergency” when finding a solution, I start to see other possibilities, some of which were already there but were hiding behind “business as usual.” Some may appear as not feasible, but definitely give me a spur as to what to reflect on later. I ask myself: what if? In the beginning, it does not make the situation any different, but at least I don’t remain stuck in the issue.
A good example of this is when you have an opinion on a specific subject, the kind of opinion that encourages you to listen to whatever may corroborate your opinion. Your IT tools seem frustrating, so you start complaining. You are only willing to have them fixed your way, notwithstanding the value they is already creating, that you don’t see. Take a few minutes to reflect on this; what if you could look at what displeases you from a different angle, one that would give you access to new possibilities, maybe a renewed creativity? What if you started to look at your tools as performing tools, that only need to be explored deeper, to open up new perspectives? Maybe looking even further would lead you to discover new ways of using your tools? As you get deeper into your exploration, you start mastering your tools and being in a position of suggesting possible improvements and upgrades. Furthermore, having embarked on your new discovery process with other people, you would also be capable of asking the appropriate questions that would allow the IT department to understand better where they could make a difference. To make a long story short, this would be a win-win solution versus a stand-alone position.
When you stand in that new place of possibilities, you may even end up being grateful for the problem you wanted to fix, that offered you an opportunity to revisit your world, to make it bolder, brighter, and more open than what it used to be. A whole new world starts unfolding.
In these times of uncertainty, let us be bold enough to stop fixing and start making our new and old possibilities, alive and kicking!